With a record event attendance (326), the 11th Annual Caring Hearts Luncheon, which supports First Step’s Mothers & Infants program and celebrates the mothers and their healthy drug-free babies was held February 19 at Michael’s On East. As the committee began planning this event in 2013, the goal was set to have as many guests at the event as drug-free babies. The goal was matched as baby 326 was born the evening prior to the Luncheon.
Sheriff Tom Knight received the 2014 Caring Heart of the Year award. Each year, First Step presents this award to an individual who has made a positive impact in the community, with a focus on those whose efforts have improved the lives of women and children or have dedicated themselves to raising awareness or providing treatment for substance abuse or mental health disorders. Since being elected, Sheriff Knight has worked diligently to increase awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse. He implemented a Pharmaceutical Diversion Investigative Unit and permanent drop boxes for the safe disposal of unused medications. Recently, Sheriff Knight brought the state’s Safe Sleep campaign to Sarasota County. The Sheriff’s Office is working with child safety advocates to educate mothers about safe sleeping environments and will provide them with brand new portable cribs.
Additionally, two program graduates returned to share their impactful stories about how the program made a difference in their lives.
To learn more about First Step’s fundraising events, contact the Marketing Department at 552-2065 or email Kelly French – firstname.lastname@example.org.